WASHINGTON - Police are imploring the public to help find a man accused of targeting and murdering people experiencing homelessness in D.C. and New York City.
Investigators said he’s shot at least five men, killing two of them. New York City Mayor Eric Adams joined D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser Monday evening for a joint news conference to announce a total reward of $70,000 for information leading to an arrest.
"We are working urgently with our federal partners at the ATF to locate the individual," Bowser said.
D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee said he’s confident the suspect will be caught.
"Our reach is far and wide, and we’re coming for you," said Contee. "This person has unnecessarily taken the lives of two innocent people."
Police have clear images of the suspect but say he has not been identified as of yet.
All five of the attacks happened in the overnight or early morning hours.
The first three shootings happened in Northeast D.C. starting on March 3 when a man was shot and injured on New York Ave. On March 8, another man was shot and injured on H. St. Then the next day, police say a man was found shot and stabbed on New York Ave. and his tent was set on fire. He did not survive.
Three days later, on Saturday, New York City surveillance video shows a shooter dressed in black approaching a sleeping man, prodding him with his foot and looking around before shooting him in the head, killing him. A second victim was later shot and injured.
Contee said D.C. Cpt. Kevin Kentish, an NYC native, happened to see the images released by NYPD Saturday night and, from there, investigators were able to link the cases in both cities.
"By early next morning, (D.C. Police) was in contact with us," said NYPD Chief of Detectives Jimmy Esseg. "So it really gave our investigation a really good jumpstart with these pictures and the exchange of information and cooperation."
"It could’ve been months before we could make the connection, so Cpt. Kentish, great job sir," Contee said to Kintish, who was at the press briefing.
Police say ballistic evidence shows it was the same gun used in these cases.
This newly released image of the suspected shooter’s face is from D.C., but police will not say where specifically it came from. With such a clear image, they’re counting on someone to recognize him.
"Every hour we are receiving calls, calls, and more calls from residents, and I’m encouraging them to keep calling that information in," Contee said.
Police officials said the man killed in D.C. has been identified, but his next of kin has not been notified.
Washington, D.C. Victims:
The violence began in Washington on March 3 when a homeless man was shot around 4 a.m. in the 1100 block of New York Avenue, Northeast. The man was transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
On March 8, a man was found shot in the 1700 block of H Street, Northeast at around 1:21 a.m. The man was transported to a nearby hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
On March 9, authorities responded to an outdoor tent fire in the 400 block of New York Avenue, Northeast where they found the remains of a man who was pronounced dead on the scene. The man suffered multiple stab and gunshot wounds. His death was ruled a homicide.
New York Victims:
Several days later on March 12, authorities in New York say a 38-year-old male was shot in the arm while sleeping on King Street near Varick Street at around 4:30 a.m.
Later that night at around 5 p.m., police found a man suffering from gunshot wounds to the head and neck. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Officers say witnesses in the area reported hearing gunshots at around 6 a.m. that morning.